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[430] Beauregard to offer such terms as would be honorable and acceptable to both parties; meanwhile, before these circumstances had been reported to me, and, in fact, soon after the aids I had despatched with the offer of assistance had set out on their mission, hearing that a white flag was flying over the fort, I sent Major Jones, chief of my staff, and some other aids, with substantially the same proposition I had made to Major Anderson on the 11th instant, excepting the privilege of saluting his flag. Major Anderson replied that ‘it would be exceedingly gratifying to him, as well as to his command, to be permitted to salute their flag, having so gallantly defended the fort under such trying circumstances, and hoped that General Beauregard would not refuse it, as such a privilege was not unusual.’ He furthermore said, ‘he would not urge the point, but would prefer to refer the matter again to General Beauregard.’

The point was, therefore, left open until the matter was submitted to me. Previous to the return of Major Jones I had sent a fire-engine, under Mr. M. H. Nathan, Chief of the Fire Department, and Surgeon-General Gibbs, of South Carolina, with several of my aids, to offer further assistance to the garrison of Fort Sumter, which was declined. I very cheerfully agreed to allow the salute, as an honorable testimony to the gallantry and fortitude with which Major Anderson and his command had defended their post, and I informed Major Anderson of my decision about half-past 7 o'clock, through Major Jones, my chief of staff. The arrangements being completed, Major Anderson embarked, with his command, on the transport prepared to convey them to the United States fleet still lying outside of the bar, and our troops immediately garrisoned the fort; before sunset the flag of the Confederate States floated over the ramparts of Sumter.

I commend in the highest terms the gallantry of the troops under my command, and where all have done their duty well it is difficult to discriminate. Although the troops outside of the batteries bearing on Fort Sumter were not so fortunate as their comrades working the guns and mortars, still their services were equally valuable and commendable; for they were on their arms at the channel batteries, and at their posts and bivouacs, exposed to severe weather and constant watchfulness, expecting every moment to have to repel reinforcements from the powerful fleet off the bar. To all these troops I award much praise for the cheerfulness with which they met the duties required of them. I feel much indebted to Generals R. G. M. Dunovant and James Simons (commanding on Sullivan's and Morris islands), and their staffs, especially Majors Evans and De Saussure, S. C. A., for their valuable and gallant services, and the discretion they displayed in executing the duties devolving on their responsible positions. Of Lieutenant-Colonel R. S. Ripley, 1st Artillery Battalion, commandant of batteries on Sullivan's Island, I cannot speak too highly, and join with General Dunovant, his immediate commander since January last, in commending in the highest terms his sagacity, experience, and unflagging zeal. I would also mention in the highest terms of praise Captains Calhoun and Hallonquist, assistant commandants of batteries to Colonel Ripley, and the following commanders of batteries on Sullivan's Island: Captain J. R. Hamilton, commanding the floating battery and Dahlgren gun; Captains Butler, S. C. A.,

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